Lost dog Freya has been found

It took an animal rescue professional and a neighborhood of dog lovers on a text chain to bring Freya, a dog being fostered in Waitsfield, home. (Well, all of that plus some rotisserie chicken.)





Freya is a rescue from Barre who came to a Waitsfield foster family on January 30. She escaped from her rescuer’s truck on Graves Farm Road that same day. Shortly thereafter, she was spotted by Erika Smart Weir, who lives on Bushnell Road, which is off East Road, and not far from Graves Farm Road.

For the Love of Dogs co-director Carole Moore said what helped immediately was that Smart Weir posted the dog on Facebook and a volunteer from the rescue organization saw it. This was after the foster family has reported that Freya was on the lam.

“It was pretty immediate, the phone calls and texts started coming in. People knew it was one of our dogs and went into ‘let’s get her home mode.’ We contacted Sue Wear, a dog recovery specialist from Burlington, and we got a text chain started with all the neighbors in the area and Sue,” Moore said.

With neighbors in the Bushnell, East Road and Graves Farm Road (and others) reporting sitings in nearly real time on the text chain, Wear and For the Love of Dogs Vermont co-director Melissa Goldberg were getting a sense of Freya’s movements. Key to that, Moore said, was everyone adhering to Wear’s protocols of not chasing Freya.




On Thursday, February 8, Wear and Bushnell Road resident Erica Stroem set up cameras where Freya was last spotted. They set up a trap with food and other food stations. Freya never went into the trap, but she was seen on camera near the food stations and within a mile of the area, Moore said. When Freya was not tempted by the food in the trap, Sue Wear encouraged the folks helping spot her to use rotisserie chicken.

Smart Weir said that the network of people reporting Freya sitings helped people understand her movement patterns and her routes. People with security cameras and Ring doorbells also reported on her whereabouts.

Smart Weir received a call from a neighbor who was away who said their Ring camera showed that Freya had been on her porch for three nights in a row

“I was on my way home from the store with rotisserie chicken. We planned to set a trap near the porch with it. My neighbor who’d spotted her on their Ring camera called and said she was still there. I drove by with the chicken and walked up and tossed some at her. She didn’t move. I kept feeding her and approaching until I could grab her leash,” Smart Weir said.

She contacted Sue Wear who arrived with a transport crate and Freya was checked out by a vet before being returned to her foster family. And the best news? The family that is fostering Freya has applied to adopt her!